A family’s legacy

Family takes a comprehensive approach to philanthropy at K-State

For Kansas State University graduate and Brigadier General (Ret.) Bruce Adams, the ROTC program was a key ingredient in his decision to give back to the university.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today if it hadn’t been for Kansas State University and the Army ROTC program,” Adams said. “It allowed me the opportunity to do things I would have never done in my life.”

Since making his first gift to the university decades ago, Bruce and his wife, Jan, have continued to make a lasting impact in various ways across the K-State campus. They have created a scholarship for the Army ROTC program, a scholarship for business students and a scholarship for agriculture students in remembrance of Adams’ father.

“I know in higher education we look at our alums to draw on their time, talents and treasure,” said Art DeGroat, executive director of military and veterans affairs at K-State. “I don’t know many people who donate more of their time, talent and treasure than Gen. Adams and his wife, Jan.”

Along with these contributions, Adams wanted to preserve his family heritage of military service and love for K-State. He is a third-generation military service member and followed in his father’s footsteps by attending K-State.

“I wanted to do something for my daughters because they were both born in California and don’t have the K-State connection like the rest of my family,” Adams said. “I had fears that our family heritage would dissipate.”

With that desire in mind, when Adams retired from the military, he gathered all of his military books and memorabilia and donated a large portion of that to K-State’s ROTC program. He also donated valuable historical documents about his family’s military experience to K-State Libraries’ Richard L. D. and Marjorie J. Morse Department of Special Collections. He further supported materials and activities related to K-State Libraries’ military history collection by planning an endowed gift in his trust.

Throughout his philanthropic relationship with K-State, Adams increased his giving with the matching gift program through IBM Corp., where he retired after a career of more than 32 years.

“You would think that when every stage of your life has been so profound, sometimes you might lose track of your roots, but Gen. Adams never has,” DeGroat said. “He wants to make a continual contribution to K-State while honoring his family’s legacy.”

Read more about how matching gifts can help your philanthropy go further and advance the Innovation and Inspiration Campaign.

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Matt Smagacz

Lauren Boughfman Student Gift Officer


Matt Smagacz

Bryce Baker Student Gift Officer